On 27th January 2014 the GNR Safe Residence Programme SRP celebrated its 4th Anniversary with a gathering of village representatives, from various areas in Loulé, at the Community centre in Querença hosted by the GNR Loulé.
Around 23 village representatives attended representing some 31 areas which are now covered by the programme in the Municipality of Loulé. Presentations were given by Captain Adriano Commander of the GNR Loulé and David Thomas President of Associação Safe Communities Algarve.
SRP Team members commanded by Cabo Daniel Dias were present as well as Chief Jose Rodrigues Head of the Special Programmes unit which covers the SRP plus, the Safe Elderly, Safe Commerce and School Liaison Programmes.
Captain Adriano gave a detailed presentation covering the structure of the GNR Loulé, the history of the SRP which was created in Loulé in January 2010 as well as the aims of the programme in particular in improving response times to emergencies. He explained that the number of households registered with the programme had increased from 2138 to 2291 over the year and that the GNR were now gathering further data as part of a nationwide exercise.
He then illustrated some of the good arrests which had taken place over the last year in particular the arrest of a foreign national wanted in connection with some violent robberies which had occurred earlier. He added that 2013 had been a good year as far as crime was concerned with decreases in overall and property crime. He added that despite this people should not be complacent and encouraged people to be on the lookout for suspicious activities and following crime prevention advice which was readily available on the SCA website.
Finally he mentioned that the GNR Loulé had held a number of seminars and displays with the SCA during the year which had been well attended.
David Thomas President of SCA then gave a presentation explaining the role of the Association in promoting and supporting the GNR Safe Residence Programme, which was part of the protocol, signed with the GNR in 2013.
He then showed the new Safe Communities Algarve website which will be launched shortly highlighting the ways this will support the SRP overall, through easier and greater access to information. He also showed the new ways of accessing crime prevention material which was simpler and quicker than before as well as how to report suspicious activities. Lastly he thanked the GNR Loulé and SRP for the work they had done throughout the year.
Following the presentations there was an informal gathering between the GNR officers and SRP area representatives which was a good opportunity to discuss various topics, after which Captain Adriano cut a cake to celebrate the event.
The SRP is designed mainly for those living in isolated areas and more details can be found on the SCA website www.safecommunitiesalgarve.com. For those living in the Loule municipality residents can contact the GNR SRP Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.